I.C.T. Media Ltd, represented by IP Consulting filed аn opposition against EUTM application No. 13 317 169 ICT TODAY pursuant to Article 8(1)(b)EUTMR.
Furthermore, commenting the applicant’s observations, IP Consulting claimed that the contested mark is devoid of any distinctiveness and thus fails to satisfy the absolute grounds for registration.
Based on that claim, the Operations Department re-oppened the examination on absolute grounds and in its final decision rejected the application EUTM No. 13 317 169 ICT TODAY pursuant to Article 7 (1)(b) and Article 7(2) EUTM.
EUIPO confirmed that there is nothing new or unusual in the sign “ICT TODAY”, which represents a mere combination of the elements of which it is composed and conveys a clearly descriptive message. In line with judgment of 12/07/2012, C-311/11 P, “Smart Technologies”, EUIPO argues that although the degree of attention of the relevant specific public is, by definition, higher than that of the average customer, it does not necessarily follow that a weaker distinctive character of a sign is sufficient even where the relevant public is specialist.
Pursuant to the well-established practice to consider each new application based on the specific circumstances of the case, EUIPO refused to accept any reference to previous similar EUTM registrations containing the word “ICT” put forth by the applicant. The Office deemed those registrations irrelevant, since they are not the same as the mark applied for and cannot be taken into consideration in the assessment of the merits of the application.
According to the Office, the mark in question is not able to fulfil the essential role of mark to be registered as such, that is to be distinctive from other undertakings in the relevant market for the goods for which the trade mark is registered.